Many people wonder what we can do to pass on our rich Catholic faith to the younger generations. I have always found that it's the little repetitive traditions we practice in our families coupled with how we as parents visibly live our own faith lives that our children remember the most. Each child will pick up something different. Symbols and rituals are important to me, so I remember saying grace before our dinner (which we all ate together at the table with no outside influences) and during Advent we would get out our Advent wreath and read from the year's Advent prayer book before having dinner. This is a ritual and prayer that I have continued into my adulthood. What does my sister remember of those times?... Fighting over who got to light the candles on the Advent wreath, but at least she remembers doing it!
My whole family was involved in Music Ministry at our various parishes over the years. Mom played the organ, Dad played the guitar, my sister was on flute and my brother on trumpet and we ALL sang! This was an important part of our prayer life, singing and playing together. I would dare say music is the prayer form that everyone in my family is most comfortable in and meet our loving God most fully through. This is what my brother has continued into his adulthood. Whether he is singing or playing within his parish choir or singing in the pew of a parish he's visiting, this is the prayer form he finds most solace and joy in.
My parents always made sure their personal faith life was visible to us growing up. I would awaken each morning to wander into the kitchen and find my father at the table eating his breakfast and reading the readings for the day straight from his well worn Bible. Coming home from school I would be sure to visit my grandparents house and would enter to find Grandma saying her rosary along with the others on EWTN. Now when my parents visit my house I fall asleep to the sound of them saying their prayers together before they go to sleep, like the sound of a soft rain on the roof.
So what are some of the things you do in your family to keep our Catholic faith alive?
These are the answers some of our 7th and 10th level parents gave these past two weeks...
1. We put crosses above our children's beds
2. We have rosaries all around the house... they're everywhere!
3. We say prayers of Thanksgiving together
4. Say grace before meals
5. Regularly attend Mass together
6. Keep Holy Water in the house
7. Light candles in memory of our departed relatives
8. Hang pictures of the kids receiving their Sacraments on the walls
9. Actively model the Catholic faith in our own lives
10. We eat dinner together
11. Talk about Bible stories with the children
12. Say prayers before bed
13. Volunteer as a family
14. Openly talk about God
15. Model love and respect on a daily basis
Now I ask you, what are some of the thing YOU do in YOUR family to keep our Catholic faith alive? Please feel free to leave comments